What Happens After 40?

Today I have reached the grand old age of 40. It is supposed to be a milestone year with the cliché that life begins at 40 ringing in my ear for some time. So, I hope you do not mind this self-indulgent blog too much.

For reasons which are purely to do with ego. I have always wanted to be the youngest at something; to me it was a mark of being a high-flier. I achieved this mainly by always moving jobs (to my shame, I have never been promoted in a job!).

So getting to 40 is a good time to take stock of things I guess. What are the things that I wish I knew when I was 20?

The journey is more important than the destination. People who are fixated by goals tend to not be happy; even when the goals are achieved. Enjoy the journey as that is the way to be happy.

The only thing money can buy you is the MM-B80 mini bike. That is it. Time is the only asset you will not get back. Use it wisely. But equally don’t fret about it.

Watch less TV. I have probably spent 1000 hours of my life watching Eastenders (a miserable soap opera set in London). What a waste. It has also been shown that watching TV does make you less happy.

Stay fit. I have probably spent most of the last 10 years trying to stay in shape. It is great when you do feel good and have control. I would give any person who wants to pursue a career in business this advice.

Get involved in a charity or politics. It helps you see that we are part of something bigger and that we can all make big differences to the life we have around us. Don’t passively complain about things. My politics have been all over the place; but that is OK. Why is it good to be consistent with your views? Should they not be shaped by what you experience and see around you?

Outsource as much of your life as you can. In the last six years I have not owned a car; I have outsourced my travelling to public transport. It has meant I have so much more time to listen to music, read books or just think. It is great for me to have that time back. What do you do at the moment that could be outsourced? Try and outsource everything – including going to the store to get an HSI flat iron! Remember point 2)

Work with great people that you like working with. It makes life fun and it ensures you are always learning. I have wasted too much time working with and for people I did not like. And don’t buy into the idea that sometimes you have to work with people you don’t like; that’s just wrong.

Don’t listen to lawyers; they are trained to say no!

Always be learning. Two years ago I started learning Italian. It has been a great source of achievement for me being able to hold small conversations in Italian. Always be learning something new – every year. In the UK, lifelong learning is not a big idea. In North America, people are constantly updating their skills and going back to school. We need more of that culture here

And marry someone rich!